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Shona Sculpture Artists

Akuda, Fanizani

Fanazani Akuda

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First Generation Master Sculptor.

Fanizani Akuda was born in 1932 in Zambia and is a member of the Chewa tribe. He came to Zimbabwe in 1949. He first worked as a farm foreman, becoming a contract bricklayer in 1960. In 1966 he was working as a farm manager and moved to Tengenenge. There he met Tom Blomefield, joining the Tengenenge Sculpture Community. Initially he was employed to dig serpentine. He began carving himself when Blomefield gave him tools to experiment with.

Fanizani is good at showcasing the stone's inherent beauty but he imparts his own moods. Each of his creations has its own character and appeal. His work has exhibited worldwide, including Africa, Europe, Australia, Germany, Denmark, USA, Holland, Sweden, and Cuba.

Chifamba, Cosmos

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Cosmos Chifamba was born on October 1, 1976 into a family of eight siblings. He began sculpting in 1991 as a school boy in Guruve as a means to supplement his school fees. He later left sculpting and worked in the industrial sector before returning to stone carving (he, however, remained active in sculpting).

Cosmos has been inspired by the work of Brighton Sango and Ephraim Chifumba.  He returned to sculpting full-time in 2004 and was artist in residence at the Sangarai Gallery in Guruve, Zimbabwe. He joined the Tenenenge sculpting community later in 2004 where he works today.  His work has been exhibited in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands. 

Chiwawa, Edward

Edward Chiwawa.

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First Generation Master Sculptor.

Edward Chiwawa was born in 1935, in a district northwest of Guruwe, about 150 km from the capital Harare. He learned sculpting from his cousin Henry Munyaradzi, a world renowned sculptor.

From 1971 to 1973, Edward lived in the artist colony of Tengenenge, after that he moved to Harare. He often uses strongly abstracted, round human faces as his motive. There is a captivating magic that shines from those faces and their expression of ernst fascinates the observer. "The stone speaks for itself", says Edward.

Since the 1980's, he has participated in many international exhibitions. In 1987, he won 1st Place in the "7th international Small Sculpture Exhibition" held in Budapest. He has also had exhibitions in London, Frankfurt, Sydney, Melbourne, Rome and Paris.

Chiwawa, Shelita

Shelita Chiwawa

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Second Generation Master Sculptor.

Shelita Chiwawa was born in 1950 in Zimbabwe. She was born into one of Zimbabwean sculpture’s most prominent families. She is the sister of Henry Munyardzi (deceased), regarded as Zimbabwean/Shona sculpture’s poet laureate.  She along with husband, First Generation Master Sculptor Edward belong to the elite group of Tenenege sculptors.  Together they have nourished the talents of their sons who have become noted stone carvers. 

While still active, Mrs. Chiwawa does not produce work on a large scale preferring to selectively sculpt. Her work is highly sought after and has been featured in the, “In Praise of Women” series.  The role of women in Zimbabwean society frequently serves as inspiration in her carvings.  She takes immense pride in her family’s accomplishments and when carving displays a radiance that can be seen in her work. Her sculptures have been exhibited in Germany, Australia, South Africa and at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

Chiwawa, Vengai

Vengai Chiwawa

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Second Generation Master Sculptor.

Born in 1975, into one of Zimbabwe's most prominent sculpting families, Vengai Chiwawa is a proud member of the Kore-Kore tribe. He lives in Chitzungwiza, outside of Harare, Zimbabwe with his wife and children. He is the son of one of the world’s most renowned sculptors, Edward Chiwawa.

Influenced by his father and his uncle, the great Henry Munyaradzi - were two of the first artists of Tengenenge Art Community - Vengai undertook at the age of seven years, his first attempts on the stones. Since the age of fiteen, Vengai has been a full-time sculptor and is fast becoming one Zimbabwe’s most recognized artists.

Active in the church, religion, family and love of family serve as his primary sources of motivation. His sculptures are exhibited around the world, in countries like South Africa, Germany, USA, UK, Belgium, France among others.

Fernandez, Biriyo

Biriyo FernandezFirst Generation Master Sculptor.

Born in 1942 in Mozambique, member of the Malunga Tribe, Biryo is one of the last few surviving first generation sculptors. He began sculpting in 1968, and is the longest serving member of the Tenenenge sculpting community. He was greatly influenced by world renowned artist Bernard Matemera whom he worked alongside for many years at Tenenenge.  He is recognized for his work with wildlife and in particular his love of elephants.  His work has been exhibited in Holland, Italy, Germany, France, South Africa and the USA. He has been awarded a Certificate of Highly Recommended Artist by the National Gallery of Art in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Kavhu, Kamurai

Kamurai Kavhu

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Born in 1971 in Guruve, Zimbabwe, Kamurai is married and a mother of four.  She is a proud member of the Kore-Kore tribe and the elephant is her totem. In 1996 she moved to the Tenenenge sculpting community and tutored under Jealous Chatsama and later married him. They both are current members.

She works only in the hardest stones. She is proud to be one of the few women who sculpt and her inspiration comes from her own experiences as a mother.

Madamombe, Colleen

Colleen Madamombe

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Second Generation Master Sculptor.

Colleen Madamombe (1964-2009) was one of only a few female sculptors working in Zimbabwe. She was widely considered the best of them. Her work added a new dimension to Zimbabwean stone sculpture. She used her skills to highlight the unique qualities of Shona women and the inequities that affect their lives. Her powerful images and the contrast of rough and polished parts of the stone, make Colleen’s stone sculpture some of Zimbabwe’s most dynamic.

Masakara, Stabben

Stabben Masakara

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Born in 1966, Stabben Masakara finished his “O” level matriculation. He started as a teacher at Marsh West in Zimbabwe. His sculpting career began in 1987, tutoring under Ephram Chaurika working at the Chapungu Gallery. He moved onto the Tenenenge community in 1987. He was awarded, in 2006, a Certificate of Recognition in 2006 for his sculpture, Shy Lady. He is a humble man and depicts humility in his work.

Matafi, Washington

Washington Matafi was born on the 22nd of July 1981 in rural Wedza. He started Stone carving with a well known third generation artist Elvis Mamvura in the year 2000. He started as an assistant, polishing and finishing Mamvura’s work. After six months of learning, he quickly developed his own style which differs to any other artists. His work started to attract attention and he began to sell sculptures. In 2002, Matafi started to take his pieces to Chitungwize arts center and in 2003 he joined the center. This allowed him to work bigger pieces and his cousin kept encouraging him to experiment and be creative. Matafi introduces his work of knots (ropes) and twisting wires into sculpture. In January 2006, Washington was one of the finalist of the Young sculpture award 2006.

His works are found and exhibited in many galleries local and international (USA, Holland, and Germany). On September 22nd, he won the first price for the exhibition entitled creativity and originality sculptor award 2006.

Moyo, DCN

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DCN Moyo was born in 1968 in Plumtree, Zimbabwe. He was lucky to be born into a family of artists. He started carving in 1986 and was taught by his brothers Vicka and Jambo. He started as a washer, skinner and polisher as most artists had started. He was introduced to soapstone carving by Jambo who wanted him to become an expert in elephant making. DCN is married with three children

Mubayi, Sylvester

Sylvester Mubayi

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First Generation Master Sculptor.

Sylvester Mubayi was born in 1942. He is a native of the Chiota Reserve near Marondera. Sylvester worked as a tobacco grader after leaving school. In 1966, he moved to Harare to look for work at the Chibuku Breweries. He joined the Tengenenge Sculpture Community in 1967 as one of its first members, and later worked at the Workshop School founded by Frank McEwen in Vukutu. He has also served as an artist in residence at the Chapungu Sculpture Park. Sylvester currently lives and works in Chitungwiza; his sculptures are inspired by stories of spirits and the supernatural.

Sylvester has been exhibited globally and consistently since winning the Oppenheimer Memorial Award in Durban, South Africa in 1969. His exhibitions include London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, New Zealand, New York, Atlanta, and Washington, DC. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe held a retrospective of his life's work in August 2008 to much acclaim.

Mupumha, Richard

Richard Mupumha

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Third Generation Master Sculptor.   

Richard Mupumha was born in 1963 in Makoni, Zimbabwe. He began sculpting from stone as a child and began full-time sculpting in 1993. He is now regarded as one of the world’s leading third generation sculptors. He has and continues to tutor new and upcoming artists. His sculptures have been on display at the National Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe. His talents are on display in galleries in the United States, South Africa and several European countries.

Richard says that “I am possessed by my forefather’s spirits, who were highly talented artists… I feel very proud developing and continuing with the art tradition my forefathers passed on to me…this is part of our heritage.”

Nandu, Cuthbert

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Cuthbert Nandu began sculpting in 2001 and has quickly gained a favorable reputation a sculptor. He has carved almost exclusively in the abstract form and feels most alive when he is communicating with stone.

He has been collected by U.S, European and Asian buyers . He has been a member of the Tenenege sculpting community since 2005.

Ndandarika, Locardia

Locardia Ndandarika

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Born in 1945, Locardia Ndandarika devolved a fondness for working with her hands, modeling clay as a child. She never lost that desire even after marrying Joseph Ndandarika in 1964. Over the course of their fourteen year marriage, she worked with her husband as he gained an international reputation as one of the world’s best stone carvers. Working in his shadow, Locardia tried to ignore her passion but failed. After repeatedly asking her husband to recognize her talents and contributions, and being turned down, she divorced him in 1978 and pursued her own career.  This required a leap of faith most would not have been able to take. Leaving her husband and caring for her children on her own and embarking on a new career as a woman stone carver in a field dominated by men required a resolve few possess.

Locardia is a skilled welder, having received awards for her work with metal.  She is a mentor, tutoring many aspiring sculptors. Two of her children Ronnie Dongo and Virginia Ndandarika have become noted sculptors. Locardia was invited to New Zealand in 1990 as the sole woman among Zimbabwe’s greatest carvers and won international acclaim. Considered the grandmother of all stone carvers, Mama Ndandarika has created enduring works that stir ones soul!

Nyadenga, Danayi

Danayi Nyadenga

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Rayson Danayi Nyadenga was born in 1970 in Murewa, Zimbabwe where he began sculpting. He has studied in the United States at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, majoring in fine sculpture. His sculptures have been exhibited and collected in the United States, Europe, South Africa and Australia. He currently lives in South Africa. He has worked under Third Generation sculptor Richard Mupumha, his uncle, as well as First Generation Master carver Sylvester Mubayi. He has been greatly affected by the role women play in Zimbabwe. Most families are held together by women who are the primary wage earners and caregivers. 

Nyanhongo, Agnes

Agnes Nyanhongo

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Second Generation Master Sculptor.

Agnes Nyanhongo was born 1960 in Nyanga. Together with Colleen Madamombe, she is regarded as one of the most successful female Zimbabwean stone sculptor.

Agnes is the daughter of first-generation sculptor Claud Nyanhongo and sister of Gedion Nyanhongo, and spent much time helping in her father's studio as a girl. She began sculpting full-time early in life, and in 1983 entered the B.A.T. Workshops in Harare, where she spent three years. Stylistically, her work is very similar to that of her father, and takes as its theme female issues of various sorts. Her sculptures are in the permanent collection of the Chapungu Sculpture Park in Harare, in Loveland, CO, and also at Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood, Colorado .

Seda, Edson

Edson Seda

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Born in 1977 in Centenary District, Zimbabwe, Edson Seda is a talented up and coming artist who has a fondness for wildlife and gains inspiration from his graceful depictions of animals from his youth.  He comes from a family of four girls and two boys. He and his younger brother Gift Seda are members of the Tenenenge sculpting community. He is a member of the Marunga tribe.

Seda, Gift

Gift Seda

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Gift Seda was born in 1981. His interest in sculpting began in 1989 at the age of 8 when he apprenticed with his older brothers Sample and Edson Seda by washing and polishing their work. After school, Gift turned to sculpting full-time. He is married to Monica and has two sons. He has an interest in sculpting the human form as well as wildlife.  He is currently a member of the world famous Tenenenge community.